Oscar Betting Guide 2020

Facts, Figures, And Other Resources For Legal Betting On The Biggest Night in Movies

Where and when to watch the Oscars

92nd Annual Academy Awards ceremony: Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020

Start time: 5 p.m. PST/ 8 p.m. EST

Network: ABC

Streaming options: www.abc.com or via the ABC app. Viewers with certain cable providers can log into the ABC app using their cable login. From there, select “Watch Live TV”. More info on how to watch the Oscars is available on ABC’s website.

2020 Oscar nominees

Best Picture

1917
Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Parasite

Best Actor

Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory)
Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
Adam Driver (Marriage Story)
Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)
Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes)

Best Actress

Cynthia Erivo (Harriet)
Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story)
Saoirse Ronan (Little Women)
Charlize Theron (Bombshell)
Renée Zellweger (Judy)

Actor in a Supporting Role

Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
Al Pacino (The Irishman)
Joe Pesci (The Irishman)
Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood)
Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes)

Actress in a Supporting Role

Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell)
Laura Dern (Marriage Story)
Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit)
Florence Pugh (Little Women)
Margot Robbie (Bombshell)

Best Director

Bong Joon Ho (Parasite)
Sam Mendes (1917)
Todd Phillips (Joker)
Martin Scorsese (The Irishman)
Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

Legal U.S. Oscar betting for the second time

Plenty of people have tried to guess who will take home the Academy Award at an Oscars party or with friends. New Jersey –and now Indiana take the movie awards to the next level.

In 2019, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement gave sportsbooks the all-clear to accept wagers on the Oscars. It was an unforged territory for regulated US sports betting, to great success. New Jersey was the only state that offered legal Oscar betting last year, but Indiana joined the party in 2020. Nevada has never booked action on the Oscars. Additionally, other states such as West Virginia and Pennsylvania don’t allow wagering on anything that is not explicitly a sporting event.

How does Oscar betting work?

There is really only one type of bet sportsbooks will offer on the Oscars. Each nominee in a category has moneyline odds that they will take home the award.

The nominations for the 2020 Academy Awards were announced on Monday, Jan. 13 (scroll up to see the “Bix Six” category nominees). Scroll down the page for current odds on the 2020 Oscar nominees.

As an example of how Oscar betting works, let’s take a look at the 2020 nominees for Best Director. Here are the five nominees and sample odds for each one:

  • Sam Mendes: -670
  • Bong Joon Ho: +375
  • Quentin Tarantino: +1,200
  • Martin Scorsese: +2,800
  • Todd Phillips: +5,000

The favorite to win the award is Mendes (-670), who directed the film 1917. If you bet $67 on Cuaron to win and he does, you would get your $67 back and profit $10. In other words, you would have to wager $67 to win $10 (or $6.70 to win $1, and so on).

Let’s say you bet $10 on Tarantino (+1,200) and he upsets though. Then you would win back your $10 bet and profit $120. In other words, you would win $120 for every $10 you wagered (or $12 for every $1, and so on).

Because there are countless awards show leading up to the actual Oscars, there is typically a clear frontrunner in every category. That means steep moneylines on the likely winners. These bets require you wager a lot to win a little. However, if you can accurately predict an upset, you can make a tidy profit.

This year is not a great year for upsets, at least in the major categories. With a shorter window between Oscar nominations and the awards, there is not as much time for an underdog’s campaign to develop the momentum to beat the favorite.

However, in the smaller categories, there are some more competitive categories where you can get good value on an underdog bet that actually wins.

Where can you bet on Oscars?

So far, New Jersey and Indiana are the only states willing to offer Oscar bets. We don’t know exactly how many sportsbooks will offer Oscar betting yet and on which categories. So far, New Jersey boasts five sportsbooks (DraftKings, FanDuel, Fox Bet, 888 Sportsbook and Caesars) with posted odds. DraftKings is also taking wagers in Indiana.

The “Big Six” categories are:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Director
  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Best Supporting Actress

Oscars party games

An Oscars viewing party is a fun way to get your movie-loving friends together. While you’re at it, make it even more interactive with some Oscars party games.

Click here to download the 2020 Oscars betting sheet. Have your guests check off who they think will win and give out prizes for the three with the most correct picks.

Next up is Oscars Bingo. These four different bingo cards have squares featuring different events that will or could happen during the ceremony. Hand them out to your guests, watch for the squares to fill up, and out prizes to Bingo winners. Click here to download the full PDF for 2020 Oscar Bingo.

Check out our full guide to hosting an Oscars party–lights, camera, action!

Why can’t I bet on the Oscars in Las Vegas?

Nevada has only ever taken bets on sporting events, and events that actually take place on the field of play. Regulators have never allowed betting on something that is not a sport.

Let the experts do the work for you

If you don’t want to study up for the Oscars before betting, there are plenty of sites that offer predictions for the awards. The most notable is Gold Derby, which tracks the entire awards season and offers predictions from dozens of awards buffs and industry professionals.

Additionally, as Oscar day nears, Variety likes to talk with anonymous Academy members who share what they voted for and their motivations behind their choices. This insight can be very useful to get a beat on what the Academy voters are thinking.

Oscar betting odds

Here are the odds for the 2020 Oscars Big Six categories. We expect the odds at each book to vary wildly, so you might want to price shop before committing to a bet.

Odds updated Feb. 9, 2020.

Best Picture

Nominee DraftKings*Fox BetFanDuel Sportsbook
*Odds are the same in NJ and IN
1917-155-182-180
Parasite+200+220+220
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood+900+900+750
Joker+1200+1200+1000
Jojo Rabbit+8000+2800+5000
The Irishman+6600+7000+6500
Marriage Story+10000+10000+7500
Little Women +15000+15000+10000
Ford v. Ferrari+25000+20000+8000

Best Director

NomineesDraftKings*Fox BetFanDuel Sportsbook
*Odds are the same in NJ and IN
Sam Mendes (1917)-400-550-470
Bong Joon Ho (Parasite)+250+375+350
Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)+2000+1400+1400
Martin Scorsese (The Irishman)+5000+6600+3000
Todd Phillips (Joker)+5000+6600+4000

Best Actor

NomineesDraftKings*Fox BetFanDuel Sportsbook
*Odds are the same in NJ and IN
Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)-5000-10000-3500
Adam Driver (Marriage Story)+1000+1200+1400
Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)+3300+5000+2000
Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory)+5000+6000+5000
Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes)+6600+7500+5000

Best Actress

NomineesDraftKings*Fox BetFanDuel Sportsbook
*Odds are the same in NJ and IN
Renee Zellweger (Judy)-2500-2000-1667
Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story)+1000+1000+900
Cynthia Erivo (Harriet)+2000+2800+1600
Charlize Theron (Bombshell)+2500+3500+2000
Saoirse Ronan (Little Women)+3300+3500+2900

Best Supporting Actor

NomineesDraftKings*Fox BetFanDuel Sportsbook
*Odds are the same in NJ and IN
Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)-3335-10000-2500
Joe Pesci (The Irishman) +1200+1800+750
Al Pacino (The Irishman)+2800+2800+2800
Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood)+3300+4000+2000
Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes)+5000+4000+4500

Best Supporting Actress

NomineesDraftKings*Fox BetFanDuel Sportsbook
*Odds are the same in NJ and IN
Laura Dern (Marriage Story)-2500-3300-2000
Margot Robbie (Bombshell)+1200+2000+1100
Florence Pugh (Little Women) +1400+1600+1600
Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit)+2000+1600+2000
Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell)+5000+7500+4200

Academy Award Specials

In addition to the array of categories on which the public can wager, Fox Bet came out with a list of “Academy Award Specials.” These markets essentially represent proposition bets surrounding the Oscars.

PropOdds
All to win: 1917 Best Picture, J PHOENIX Actor, R ZELLWEGER Actress, L DERN Supporting Actress-167
1917 to win 6 or more Oscars-162
1917 to win Best Picture and Sam Mendes to win Best Director-143
Ford v Ferrari to win 2 or more Oscars+135
1917 to NOT win Best Picture+150
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to win 3 or more Oscars+190
The Irishman to win 2 or more Oscars+300
Joker to win 3 or more Oscars+300
Sam Mendes NOT to win Best Director+375
Bombshell to win no Oscars+400
Adam Driver or Scarlett Johannson to win any Acting Oscars+600
Renee Zellweger NOT to win Best Actress+700
Laura Dern NOT to win Best Supporting Actress+900
Brad Pitt NOT to win Best Supporting Actor+1100
Parasite to win Best Picture and Bong Joon Ho to win Best Director+1800
Little Women to win 3 or more Oscars+2500
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to win Best Picture and Quentin Tarantino to win Best Director+12500

Other Oscar categories

DraftKings is offering wagers on several more categories beyond the Big Six, and several other sportsbooks could too. Time will tell if sportsbooks like SugarHouse and BetAmerica plan to feature some categories that are not available anywhere else.

These categories contain some value spots if you are willing to put in the work. Using the guild awards and Gold Derby to suss out some possible upsets and you could bring in a nice payday.

Another good tip is to go through the Best Picture nominees and try to figure out a category each film could potentially win. In the past few years, the Academy has gotten into a pattern of trying to spread the wealth around. Last year, every single Best Picture nominee ended up with at least one Oscar.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at each of the nominees and what categories they could potentially win:

1917
Best Picture
Best Director
Best Cinematography
Best Original Score
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing

Ford v Ferrari
Best Editing
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing

The Irishman
Best Adapted Screenplay

Jojo Rabbit
Best Costume Design

Joker
Best Actor
Best Original Score

Little Women
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Costume Design

Marriage Story
Best Supporting Actress
Best Original Screenplay

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Best Supporting Actor
Best Original Screenplay
Best Production Design

70%

How often the Producers Guild of America winner go on to win Best Picture

 

76%

How often the Directors Guild of America winner goes on to win Best Picture.

93%

How often Best Picture was also nominated for Best Director. A movie without a Director nod has only taken home the Oscar on four occasions (1929, 1932, 1989, and 2013)

27

The number of times the movie that won Best Director did not win Best Picture. Nine of those instances have happened since 2000.

Oscar Betting Tips

Pay attention to the guild awards

The Golden Globes used to be a great indicator of who will win the Oscars, but in recent years, the two groups are increasingly not on the same page. Rather than monitor the Globe winners, follow which films and people win the various awards for their respective guilds.

When it comes to Oscar voting, members of the Academy only vote in categories they work in. The editors are the only ones who vote for Best Editing, for example. The only category everyone votes for is Best Picture. The best way to figure out which film editors prefer, you need look no further than the American Cinema Editors awards.

PGA and DGA are best Best Picture predictors

If there is one guild award you should pay attention to more than the rest, it is the Producer’s Guild of America (PGA) award. In the 29 years of existence, the PGA winner has gone on to win Best Picture 79 percent of the time. The Director’s Guild of America (DGA) is equally as successful as predicting Best Picture and even more accurate when it comes to predicting Best Director.

The Best Picture will likely be the least polarizing

When the Academy expanded the Best Picture category to up to 10 nominees in 2009, it also changed how the voting for the category worked. The new preferential ballot system tends to award movies everyone feels generally positive about.

In the past, polarizing movies like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri and La La Land had too many people that strongly disliked them to win. The film most likely to be ranked in the top three of the most ballots is the one most likely to win.

Hollywood loves a good Hollywood story

If you haven’t noticed, Hollywood is a little bit in love with itself. Dating back to the start of the Academy Awards, movies about movies and the arts have always fared well.

Recent examples include The Artist, Argo, Birdman, and last year’s The Shape of Water. The 2019 Best Picture field included three entertainment industry stories, Green Book, Bohemian Rhapsody, and A Star Is Born.

Films like Judy and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood could fare quite well this year.

Oscars like to spread the acting wealth

Mahershela Ali winning his second Best Supporting Actor Oscar in three years is atypical of Academy Awards voters. They like to reward unrecognized performers over repeat winners. That is very much how this year’s performance races are shaping up. Brad Pitt, for example, is the only non-acting winner in his category. He is coincidentally also the frontrunner. The only expected repeat winner is Renee Zellweger, who is in a category where four of the five nominees have been nominated before.

Actors physically sacrificing for their craft gets rewarded too

In the case of 2019 nominee Rami Malek’s portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, he also has a physical transformation as well, which means even more bonus points in his favor. Academy voters also love actors putting on pounds, putting on latex, and putting themselves through the wringer for their craft. This is why Renee Zellweger and Joaquin Phoneix seem like locks, as both transformed themselves physically for their performances.

Five years of Oscars winners

Best Picture winners:

2019: Green Book
2018: Shape of Water
2017: Moonlight
2016: Spotlight
2015: Birdman

Best Director winners:

2019: Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
2018: Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water
2017: Damien Chazelle – La La Land
2016: Alejandro Iñárittu – The Revenant
2015: Alejandro Iñárittu – Birdman

Best Actor winners:

2019: Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody
2018: Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour
2017: Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
2016: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
2015: Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

Best Actress winners:

2019: Olivia Colman – The Favourite
2018: Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO
2017: Emma Stone – La La Land
2016: Brie Larson – Room
2015: Julianne Moore – Still Alice

Best Supporting Actor winners:

2019: Mahershala Ali – Green Book
2018: Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO
2017: Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
2016: Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
2015: JK Simmons – Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress winners:

2019: Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
2018: Allison Janney – I, Tonya
2017: Viola Davis – Fences
2016: Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
2015: Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
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